Entries for November 2019

  • WAYNE PEET TRIO: What The?

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    Organ-specialist Wayne Peet has become a giant in the Los Angeles free-improvising community since the 1980s, when he moved there from Oregon to play with trombonist John Rapson. He’s played with almost everyone from that scene on the West Coast, and, additionally, he’s an in-demand recording engineer for labels like Blue Note, Enja, 9 Winds, […]

  • The Mandolin in Bluegrass

    The gold standard bluegrass band is comprised of a banjo, a fiddle, an upright bass, an acoustic guitar, and a mandolin. A significant, but not required, instrument in a bluegrass band is a Dobro. Rare, and sometimes frowned upon by purists, one may find a harmonica, an electric bass, or even drums. But a mandolin […]

  • ERIC ANDERSEN: Blue River

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    Eric Andersen’s seminal 1972 breakthrough, Blue River, is an exquisitely produced album highlighting the songwriter at his best—at a time when the music industry was looking for a new Dylan. This re-mastered version of Blue River is breathtaking throughout, providing all of the sonic clarity and depth to cause this to feel like a first […]

  • THE SLEEPWALKERS: Roots Rockin’

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    Since before the turn of the century, the Sleepwalkers have been a part of the San Diego roots scene, frequently appearing among the nominees for best roots band at the San Diego Music Awards. With various personnel lineups, the band has shown a remarkable ability to span styles—rockabilly, country, Tex-Mex, blues-rock, and most flavors between. […]

  • Susan Werner Lets Her Heart Do the Talking

    More often than not, the decision to make a life from music is a choice rooted in the heart rather than the head. The calling to do so pretty much demands that one forego the comforts of a predictable schedule, workplace, and income. The pressures of creating not just art, but also a demand for […]

  • The Open Heart

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    When the eyes open, the heart opens. The more you see, the more you feel. Even an ordinary walk through the neighborhood breaks you open—the desiccated skull of a hummingbird, an out-of-season flower, a discarded condom wrapper—everywhere you look the poignancy and insistence of life, death, and everything in between. It’s as if the whole […]

  • The Golden Age of Country Music

    The 1950s was a golden age for country music on television here on the West Coast. Along with Town Hall Party, which ran the whole decade and into the 1960s, it seemed as if every station had a country music show or two and several of them had even more. Along the way I remember […]

  • JOHNNY VALENZUELA and ANDY RASMUSSEN: Twisted Trails and Two-Fisted Tales

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    It’s been said that siblings make great music together. One need only look at the Everly Brothers, the Kinks, the Black Crowes, and Oasis to see that factoid to have some merit. It makes sense that shared influences and family life combine to make musical magic. Slightly rarer are siblings that are part of different, […]

  • Stephen Bishop San Diego’s Hometown Boy Keeps Going “On and On”

    Virtually everyone in San Diego had their Stephen Bishop story in the late 1970s. I had mine! At the time I was a self-styled rock musician at Grossmont High School. I played some guitar and sang a set of Dylanesque songs with the five flat notes I could hit. Yet, there were enough polite, fellow […]